The Mourning Prince
what was he complaining about this time?" Dean asked absently as he
sat back down and began reading the newspaper again.
"Well apparently we aren't giving him the proper respect due his station," Kelson said as he took a sip from his coffee cup and a drag from his cigarette.
"Proper respect? You're joking right? What did you tell him?"
"I told him that that kind of respect is a two way street and that he had better start acting like a guest instead of an arrogant ass."
"He must have loved that."
"That got him going again, he went on for another hour or so. Micheala tried to calm him down but she was too tired to help out. I really hope she got some sleep."
Kelson took another drag from his cigarette.
"You know Kel, that is really bad for your health," Dean said, not looking up from his newspaper.
"I know," Kelson said staring at the top of Dean's head.
Noticing he was being stared at, Dean looked up from his newspaper.
"I know your dying to ask, so you might well go ahead?"
"Ask about what?" Dean queried, going back to the newspaper.
"Why I never told you I had family."
"Okay I'm asking, why didn't you?"
Kelson just shook his head and smiled.
"You brought the subject up. So you might as well tell me."
Kelson stared back at Dean for several seconds, swirled the contents of his coffee cup around and took another drag from his cigarette, then put it out in the ashtray.
"Well for a couple of reasons. One, my family told me not too before I left home, and two, to protect you guys."
"To protect us from whom?'
"You remember the communists that controlled Howicce and Llanedd?"
"Well basically they also control my homeland. You know the country that is northeast of Howicce and Llanedd."
"Yeah?" Dean said his interest peaked now," Gwynedd, I think it's called."
"Well about eighty years ago, my great grandfather used to be king there."
"Excuse me? You mean to tell me that you were royalty even before you married Anna?"
Before Kelson could answer, Ming made her presence known once again.
"Meow!" She was finished eating and it was time for her nap.
Kelson glanced down at the cat. She looked up at him with her big blue eyes, wanting to jump into his lap for her nap.
"C'mon Ming," Kelson said patting his lap. With a grunt, she leapt up and immediately began to knead Kelson's leg with her paws.
"Ouch! Ming, take it easy with those claws. I really need to get those things trimmed."
Kelson scratched underneath her chin. She began to purr, then curled into a ball. She was fast asleep and snoring in seconds.
"You were saying?"
"Where was I?"
"Your great grandfather was a king or something."
"Oh yeah. Well about the time the communists took control in Howicce and Llanedd, basically the same thing happened in Gwynedd. There was a coup and all of the royal family was captured and executed except for my grandfather, I think he was the youngest child or something."
"Why wasn't he killed?"
"He happened to be in Bremagne at the time attending school."
"Didn't they try to get at him there?"
"Yes they did, but I guess he went into hiding soon after."
Dean sat stunned for several minutes, realizing just how little he knew about his friend.
"Can you tell me anything about your family now, like their names, and where you fit into the family?"
"I guess I could."
"You don't have to if you don't want to. It's just that I'm a little curious, that's all."
"Its all right, it will give me something to do until my uncle gets here. I just don't know where to begin, my family is sort of big."
"Just start at the top," Dean said, his eyes growing round on finding out his friend had a big family.
"Okay," Kelson said taking several moments to collect his thoughts," lets see, there's my grandparents Donal and Mary, and my parents Malcolm and Janette."
"So you named Malcolm after your father?"
"Right," Kelson continued, "anyway there's my Aunt Anastasia, she is the Queen of Bremagne. I think you may have met her at my wedding, but you didn't know she was my aunt."
"I actually didn't meet her, but I did see her from a distance. And now that you mention it, there is a strong family resemblance."
"Anyway, after her, there is my Uncle Camber, the one who is arriving this morning. I think he is the bishop of free Corwyn and Carthmoor."
"I take it you are not your parents oldest child. Do you have any brother's and sister's?"
"Actually I'm probably the middle child, and yes I have brothers and sisters."
After several seconds of silence, Dean asked quietly, "Do you want to tell me their names?"
Kelson took a sip of his coffee and lit another cigarette.
"You and your brothers and sisters don't exactly get along, do you?"
"Well I wouldn't say that. It's just that we weren't exactly close growing up."
"If this is bothering you, we can talk about something else."
"No, that's okay," Kelson said as he took another drag from his cigarette and set it in the ashtray.
"Anyway," Kelson continued, "I have twin older brother's, Alroy and Javan. Then after me comes my sister Jehana, my younger brother Rhys Micheal, and lastly my baby sister Sidana."
"Jesus, that's a lot of kids. I can see how you basically got lost in the shuffle. That would make you sort of fifth in line to your grandfather's throne, huh?"
"Yes it does," Kelson said absently as he began to stroke the sleeping cat.
"So why did you come here to live in the states?"
"Well I can't really tell you right now. Once I find out what my uncle has to say, then maybe."
"More or less."
Dean watched Kelson absently continue to stroke the cat. "I have to ask this," Dean said after several seconds of silence. "Did Anna know all this?"
Kelson looked up from staring at the sleeping cat, but did not stop stroking her.
"Yeah, she knew some of it, but not all."
"She knew who I was and where she could find me, in the states."
"She came looking for you?"
Kelson face seemed to darken at that. "Yeah, she came looking for me all right."
"Well apparently her father told her that there was a Haldane heir in the states. And she thought it would be a good idea, in order to strengthen her bloodline, to come looking for me."
"Uh oh. When did you find all of this out?"
"After we had been seeing each other for a couple of months. I sort of found out during our trip to New Orleans."
"That was when someone tried to kill her, right?"
Kelson just nodded and continued to pet the cat. Sensing that the conversation was getting too tense for his friend, Dean decided to change the subject slightly.
"So basically what you're telling me, is that she was looking for some sort of stud. If that isn't a contradiction in terms, I don't what is."
Kelson looked up with a start, just shook his head and smiled.
"Gee, I'm glad I have you around for support," Kelson said with a smile.
"No problem buddy."
"Do you have any more questions?" Kelson asked, "I would like to change the subject."
"Actually, just one, does your uncle have the same abilities as you do?"
"You're never going to leave that particular subject alone, are you?"
"I hadn't planned on it."
"Actually he does, but I don't know how well trained..." Kelson said, stopping in mid sentence. He sensed someone else in the room. Seeing Kelson stop, Dean looked up and saw who it was and started to get up from his chair. Kelson started to get up as well, thus waking the cat.
"Please don't get up gentlemen," a female voice said from behind Kelson.
As the two remained seated, the Crown Princess came into Kelson's line of sight. Dressed in a white sleeping gown, Micheala McGregor was beautiful. She had shoulder length blond curly hair, and green eyes. In contrast to her late sister, Micheala had a fair appearance and demeanor, while her sister had been dark haired and was very opinionated.
"I hope I didn't interrupt your conversation?" She said, sitting in the empty seat between the two.
"Not really, nothing we can't finish later," Dean answered.
Kelson looked back at his friend, then just rolled his eyes and smiled.
"Would you care for some coffee,Your Highness," Dean asked getting up from his seat .
"Why yes, thank you," she said with a tired looking smile.
As Dean left the table to get some coffee, Ming decided it was time to switch sleeping spots. She stretched and yawned in Kelson's lap and leapt to the floor looking up at Micheala.
Micheala patted her left leg, encouraging Ming to jump up. With a grunt and a spring, Ming leapt up onto her lap. She immediately began to purr as Micheala scratched behind her ear.
At this point she noticed that Kelson was looking at her as if wanting to say something.
"What is it Kelson? Please say it. I value your advice."
Kelson hesitated before continuing. "Well I'm going to apologize now, but I feel I have to be blunt about this."
"Please, tell me," she insisted.
"Well, basically," Kelson said leaning forward on his elbows on the kitchen table, "you as Crown Princess are going to have to develop a backbone if you 're going to be dealing with morons like 'you know who'."
"I'm sorry about last night," she said shyly as she stroked the purring cat.
"That's my point, Micheala," Kelson said, "I shouldn't be talking to you this way. And neither should he."
"This is why my father wants you to come back, to help with these sort of things. You know our family isn't exactly up to date on court etiquette and other things. We need your help."
By this time Dean had returned and placed the steaming cup of coffee in front of her. Nodding her thanks to Dean she returned her attention to Kelson.
"Have you thought anymore about my father's offer to return home?"
Before he could answer, Ming stopped purring and jumped from Micheala's lap to floor, her ears cocked back in irritation.
"I hope you are just thinking about it at this point," came a male voice from behind Kelson.
Both Dean and Kelson straightened up at the sound of that voice, because they both knew who it was.
The Supreme of Howicce came into view. He wasn't a tall man or pleasing to look at. Dean had described him, when he arrived as a fat, ugly bulldog. He had bulging brown eyes, a double chin, and he was balding, with what little hair he had, graying at his temples.
"And as far as your advice that you are giving Her Majesty.. In the future, I would suggest you keep it to yourself."
But before Kelson could so much as form a reply, his sister-in-law spoke. "If you will excuse us Gentlemen," she said, standing up, her forehead creased with a frown, " I would like to speak to the 'Supreme of Howicce ' in private. Is there somewhere we can talk?"
Shocked into silence by her sudden change in attitude towards the 'Supreme of Howicce', Kelson indicated to an open sliding door behind her, leading into the dining room.
Nodding her thanks she proceeded to the door.
"But Your Majesty..." The Supreme of Howicce started to protest.
She immediately turned her head and glared at him, thus silencing him in mid sentence. Moving away from the table the two entered the dining room, with a frightened looking 'Supreme of Howicce' closing the door behind them.
"My God Kelson, I know you can influence people but.."
"I had nothing to do with it," Kelson said, just as shocked with her sudden change in demeanor.
"Who did she just remind you of just now?"
"Anna," Kelson said distantly, looking at the closed door. Dean also looked at the closed door.
"Have you thought about her father's offer?" Dean asked. But before Kelson could so much as reply, a bright light appeared in the living room windows, just in front of the kitchen. Kelson's uncle had arrived.